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Dál Cuinn Group

Early Kings Of Connacht

Gold Crown
KingSeptReign
Length (Years)Start (A.D.)End (A.D.)
Brión mac Eochada MuigmedúinUB8363370
Fiachra Foltsnathach mac Eochada MuigmedúinUF12371382
Amalgaid mac Fiachrach FoltsnathaigUF33383415
Dau Galach mac BriúinUB19416434
Eógan Sréb mac Daui GalaigUB37435471
Ailill ua Fiachrach Foltsnathaig?UF19472490
Dau Tenga UmaUB10491500
Eochaid TírimcárnaUB20501520
Eógan BélUF17521537
Ailill InbandaUF9538546
Feradach mac RossaUF3547549
Máel Fothaid mac Maíl UmachUF3550552
Áed mac Eochada TírimcárnachUB22553574
Uadach mac ÁedaUB28575602
Colmán mac CobthaigUF21603623
  • UB = Uí Briúin
  • UF = Uí Fiachrach

The primary source for the preceding King List is Lebar na Núachongbála, AKA the Book Of Leinster, as given in Section 30:

  1. Amalgaid mac Fiachrach .xxxiiii.
  2. [5720] {MS folio 41a 15} Ailill Molt .xx.
  3. Dui Galach xix.
  4. Eogan Bél mac Duach .xxxuii. Fergus & Domnall da mac Meic Erca ro marb Eogan Bel i cath Slicigi
  5. {MS folio 41a 20}Ailill Inbanda mac Eogain .ix. A marbad i cath Cuili Conaire
    [5725] i Cera
    [...]
    la
    [...]ro marbad Ailill
  6. Dui Tengad Umae a marbad i cath Seggissi la Murchertach mac Erca.
  7. {MS folio 41a 25}Eocho Tirmcharna .xx.
  8. Feradach mac Rosa .iii.
  9. [5730] Mael Fothaid mac Mael Umae .iii.
  10. Aed mac Echach Tirmcharna .xxii.
  11. Uatu mac Aeda meic Echach Tirmcharna .xxuiii.
  12. {MS folio 41a 30}Colman mac Cobthaig .xxu. i cath Chind Buga dorochair la hu Briúin.
  13. [5735] Rogellach mac Fuatach .xxu. la Diarmait Ruanaid darochair i cath Chairn Chonaill.

Two hard dates are taken from Daniel P. McCarthy’s The Chronology Of The Irish Annals. The first is the death of Eochaid Muigmedón in 362 A.D. The second is the death of Dau Tenga Uma in 500 A.D. at the battle of Seaghais. This second death is detailed in the Annals Of The Four Masters as follows:

The Age of Christ, 499 [rectè 504]. The twenty-first year of Lughaidh. Cerban, a bishop of Feart-Cearbainⁿ, at Teamhair, died.

The battle of Seaghaisᵒ [was fought] by Muircheartach mac Earca against Duach Teangumhaᵖ, King of Connaught. The cause of the battle was this, viz.: Muircheartach was a guarantee between the King and Eochaidh Tirmcharna, his brother, and Eochaidh was taken prisoner against the protection of Muircheartach. In proof of which Ceannfaeladh⁹ said:

  • The battle of Seaghais; a certain womanʳ caused it; red blood was over lances,
  • By Duiseach, daughter of Duach.
  • The battle of Dealga, the battle of Mucramha, and the battle of Tuaim-Drubha,
  • With the battle of Seaghais, wherein fell Duach Teangumha.

Against the Connaughtmenˢ these battles were gained.

  • Seaghais — This was the ancient name of the Curlieu hills [Curlew Mountains], near Boyle, on the confines of the counties Roscommon and Sligo. This battle is entered in the Annals of Ulster at the year A. D. 501.
  • intentionally skipped
  • intentionally skipped
  • ʳA certain woman: i. e. Duiseach. She was the wife of Muircheartach mac Earca, whom she incited to fight this battle against her father, Duach Teangumha, because he had made a prisoner of her foster-father, Eochaidh Tirmcharna, in violation of her husband’s guarantee. — See the Book of Lecan, fol. 195, b.
  • ˢAgainst the Connaughtmen: i. e. these battles were gained by the race of Niall over the Connaughtmen. The Editor has never seen a full copy of the poem of Cennfaeladh, from which the above verses are quoted. They are also quoted in O’Conor’s printed Annals of Tighernach, in which the battle of Seaghais is twice mentioned as in the text of the Four Masters.

Please note that the Battle of Seaghais has been synchronized to 500 A.D. by Daniel P. McCarthy using the methodology he explains at the link given previously, and this year is being used as a hard, fixed date.

Brión mac Eochada Muigmedúin

The starting date of Brión’s reign is derived from the date of Eochaid Muigmedón’s death in 362 A.D. The length of his reign was backed into from succeeding dates.

Fiachra Foltsnathach mac Eochada Muigmedúin

The length of Fiachra’s reign is taken from John O’Donovan’s translation of Dubhaltach Mac Firbisigh’s The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, Commonly Called O’Dowda’s Country:

Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, was twelve years in the government of Connaught.

The starting and ending dates of his reign were backed into from succeeding dates.

Amalgaid mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig

The length of Amalgaid’s reign is taken from both the Book Of Leinster King List, which gives a length of 34 years (see above), and The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, which gives a length of 32 years:

Amhalgaidh, son of Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, the first of the Connaught kings who believed on the preaching of St. Patrick. Tir Amhalgaidh is named from him. He was thirty-two years in the government of Connaught when he died well.

A length of 33 years was taken as the midpoint. The starting and ending dates of his reign were backed into from succeeding dates.

Dau Galach mac Briúin

The length of Dau Galach’s reign is taken from the Book Of Leinster King List, which gives a length of 19 years (see above). However, it should be noted that the length of reign in the Book of Leinster King List as .xix. (19) is somewhat anachronistic since that is the subtractive notation Roman numeric style and almost everywhere around it the non-subtractive notation Roman numeric style is used. This may point to a later writer inserting this length. Nonetheless, this is the length of reign that has been accepted.

Ailill Molt ua Fiachrach Foltsnathaig is shown to have preceded Dau Galach in the Book Of Leinster King List (see above), but given the approximate age of Dau Galach by the time he would have started to reign, it is highly unlikely this occurred. Further, Ailill Molt ua Fiachrach Foltsnathaig has been deleted from the proposed King List due to the analysis of the following records, beginning with this one in The Annals Of Clonmacnoise:

Nahie mᶜFiaghra of Ulster died in anno 427.

It is a reasonable assumption that this is Nath Í AKA Dathi whom the Annals Of The Four Masters list as dying in 428 A.D.:

The Age of Christ, 428. After Dathi, son of Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, had been twenty-three years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was killed by a flash of lightning, at Sliabh Ealpa.

However, where the Annals Of The Four Masters give the pedigree of Nath Í as being the son of Fiachra Foltsnathach and grandson of Eochaid Muigmedón, The Annals Of Clonmacnoise carefully call him the son of Fiaghra of Ulster. This leads to the idea that Fiaghra of Ulster might be Fiacha mac Néill, and so Nath Í is the grandson of Niall, and the great-grandson of Eochaid Muigmedón.

Further, when reading through the records there is a distinct impression that Dathi mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig, who is equated to Nath Í, is purely a fabrication that was derived from or conflated with Dau Galach and Nath Í. His records have more of a mythical/legendary hero tale to them than a straightforward annalistic account. In The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, Dathi is listed separately from the other four sons of Fiachra Foltsnathach, which lends credence to the idea he is a later change. Also, Dathi is supposedly the epithet or cognomen of Feradach mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig:

Dathi came to the tower. (He was called Dathi from his expertnessᵃ [daithe] at invading and shooting, for if there were one hundred persons shooting, i. e. discharging arrows or javelins at him, he would be protected against them by the activity of his hands in guarding, wherefore the name of Dathi clung unto him. Feradhachᵇ was his name when he went to the east, and it was on his expedition in the east he was called Dathi).

  • Expertness — This derivation of the name of King Dathi is also given in Leabhar na h-Uidhri, fol. 35, p. b, col. a, but in the margin, and in a hand somewhat more modern than the original. Geoffrey Keating in his The History Of Ireland too gives the same derivation of the name, explaining daithi by the modern word tapa, i. e. expert, active, dexterous.
  • Feradhach — Keating also says that Fearadhach was his first name, and he calls Dathi his forainm, i. e. his cognomen.

The possible conflation with Dau Galach becomes more apparent in this excerpt from the rithlearg and poem by Torna Eigeas as quoted in The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach:

That the body of Dathi is interred in the middle of Aonach na Cruachna is attested by Torna Eigeas, in his poem pointing out the burial place of the kings of the race of Heremon to the men of Erin, “Thou hast concealed from all, o Cruacha Croidhearg, the fair king of Erin, Dathi, son of Fiachra, a generous king by sea and land; all have been informed that he was killed in royal land; from all I will not conceal it. Thou hast, &c.” This was revealed to Torna Eigeas through poetical inspirationᵃ, after he had been requested by the men of Erin to discover where Dathi, son of Fiachra, king of Erin, was interred; so that it was on this occasion Torna Eigeas composed this rithleargabove given to prove it; and he composed also the following quatrains:

  1. Under thee lies the fair king of the men of Fail,
    Dathi, son of Fiachra, man of dignityᶜ
    O Cruacha, thou hast concealed this
    From the strangers, from the Gaels.
  2. Under thee is Dungalach the vehement,
    Who brought the hostagesᵈ over the boisterous sea;
    Under thee are, reveal their appearance,
    Conn, Tuathal, and Tomaltach.

    The three sons, &c.
  • Poetical inspiration — It was the belief in Ireland in Pagan times that a poet’s mind was capable of being rendered prophetic by the aid of certain charms or incantations called Imbas for Osnae and Teinm Loeghdha; for some account of which see Battle of Magh Rath, pp. 46, 47, Note ᵇ. Torna Eigeas is said to have been chief poet of Ireland, and the tutor of the monarch Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was slain in the year 406.
  • RithleargRetairic in Leabhar na h-Uidhri. It is the name of a kind of metrical prose put into the mouths of Druids and poets while under the influence of the Teinm Loeghdha. Also called “rhetoric”.
  • Man of dignity — In the Book of Lecan the reading is feargaidh, i. e. the fierce or angry, and in Leabhar na h-Uidhri it is ind aig, i. e. of valour. These differences are traceable to the carelessness of transcribers, and sometimes to the obliterated state of the original MSS from which the copies were made; for when the original was effaced or defective in some words the transcribers often filled up the blanks according to their own judgment.
  • Who brought the hostages, &c. — In the copy of this poem in Leabhar na h-Uidhri this line reads, tuc in rig dar muir na rian, i. e. who brought the king over the sea of roads, and this is obviously the true reading.

It is interesting to note that a mystical revelation was required in order to find Dathi’s tomb. Then, according to different versions of the poem, Dathi is called a man of dignity, or anger, or fierceness, or valor. But from eDIL, Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, the word galach has the following meaning: hot, hence ardent, valiant, brave, combative. This combines most of the qualities variously ascribed to Dathi. It seems possible that different scribes used different words than galach to avoid any connection with Dau Galach. Further, the word used to describe Dathi in the Book of Lecan is feargaidh, which is very similar to Dathi’s given name of Feradach.

So, taking all of these records together, it certainly raises the question of the actual existence of “Dathi mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig” and leaves open the possibility of Nath Í mac Fiachach meic Néill. This probable fabrication/conflation was possibly done deliberately to elevate the position of the Uí Fiachrach and deemphasize the role of the Uí Briúin in the early years of the Connachta; and it may have been done with the complicity, or at least acquiescence, of the Uí Néill at this early stage.

This is not a new idea, as T. M. Charles-Edwards considers it a possibility that neither Nath Í nor Ailill Molt were kings of Tara, but that both were included later, when members of the Uí Fiachrach dynasties were prominent and it was felt politically necessary to include their ancestors in the ranks of former High Kings of Ireland (Ard-Rí na hÉireann) [T. M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 462]. Whether they were or were not Ard-Rí na hÉireann, it seems clear they were not Kings of Connacht.

For if one accepts that Nath Í was Uí Néill and not Uí Fiachrach, then it follows that Ailill Molt, as the son of Nath Í, was also Uí Néill and that it was unlikely he was both a King of Connacht and Ard-Rí na hÉireann. This also removes the anomaly of two generations of Uí Fiachrach Ard-Rí na hÉireann near the beginning of the Uí Néill dynasty. As to what happened to the descendants of Ailill Molt, one can only surmise that they died out early on, leaving no record to challenge the Uí Fiachrach connection; or that they were conflated with another Uí Néill line.

Then if Nath Í and Ailill Molt were Uí Néill, who were the descendents of Fiachra Foltsnathach? Well, we have already been given the real name of Dathi, and that is Feradach. Then one must conjecture that Feradach had a son named Ailill who was conflated with Ailill Molt, great-grandson of Niall. This grandson of Fiachra Foltsnathach may be the uncertain Ailill in the proposed King List, but his age is somewhat problematic, unless he was born later in Feradach’s life.

Eógan Sréb mac Daui Galaig

This is perhaps the most controversial individual in the proposed King List. The Book of Leinster King List has a chronology problem with placing Eógan Bél and Ailill Inbanda immediately after Dau Galach. According to The Annals Of Clonmacnoise:

425.—Now I intend to lay down the Kˢ of Ireland, the Kˢ of Scotland, the Kˢ of the 5 Provinces & the Kˢ of the County of Ossory yᵗ Lived in the time of one raigne since the time of the Coming of St. Patrick untill the coming of K. Bryan Borowa ut Sequitur. Lagerie before the coming of St. Patrick did raigne but 4 yeares and at that time Moneagh Mwindearge was K. of Ulster, Criocohann mᶜEnna was king of Lynster. Enos mᶜNaofreigh K. of Mounster, and Dwaghgaly K. of Connaught. The first Indiction Romane beginneth Anno 433. Secundinus² aƚs Seachnall Patron of Donsoghlyn³ nephew of St. Patrick & Auxilius⁴ were sent hither by the pope to help the Conversion of this land. The Chronicles of Ireland were Renewed this yeare. St. Bridgett the Virgin was borne⁵ about this time in Anno 425. Joanes Cassianus⁶ died. Manie mᶜNeale Noygiallagh auncestor to those of the land of Teaffie died.

This places Dau Galach as King of Connacht in 425 A.D., which fits the proposed King List. But The Annals Of Clonmacnoise then go on to record:

547.—The battle of Tortan⁵ against Leinster men, where mᶜErcka sonn of Ailill Molt was slaine, was fought this yeare. The Battle of Slygeagh where Owen Bell, K. of Connaught, was slaine; and Fergus & Donell the two sonns of mᶜErcka, finnire mᶜSedna, & Nynny mᶜDivagh were victors. Lugedus, Bishop of Connery, dyed.

It should be noted that in the record just quoted, it is expressly stated that mac Erca is the son of Ailill Molt, and further goes on to say that mac Erca’s two sons Fergus and Domnall were involved in the slaying of Eógan Bél. The mac Erca being referenced as the father of Fergus and Domnall is recognized as Muirchertach mac Erca, an Uí Néill Ard-Rí na hÉireann, as stated in the entry that follows shortly. Unless the writer of The Annals Of Clonmacnoise was referring to two different Mac Erca men without attempting to differentiate them, this would tend to support the hypothesis that Ailill Molt was definitely Uí Néill and not Uí Fiachrach. However, this upsets a lot of the records and genealogies of Muirchertach mac Erca; whose fanciful death is recorded in the Annals Of The Four Masters as:

The Age of Christ, 526. The twenty-third year of Muircheartach. It was to predict the death of Muircheartach that Cairneach said:

  • I am fearfulᵇ of the woman around whom many storms shall move,
  • For the man who shall be burned in fire, on the side of Cleiteach wine shall drown.
  • That is, by Sin, daughter of Sigheᶜ, Muircheartach was killed, in revenge of her father, whom he had slain.

The Age of Christ, 527. After Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, had been twenty-four years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was burned in the house of Cleiteachⁱ, over the Boyne, on the night of Samhain [the first of November], after being drowned in wine. Sin composed this quatrain:

  • I am Taetan, the woman who killed the chief of Niall;
  • Gannadhaighʲ is my name, in every place and road.

These variations in accounts help keep the early Uí Néill shrouded in mystery; but it does lend some credence to the idea that Muirchertach mac Erca’s pedigree was disguised or conflated.

Returning to Eógan Bél, the Annals Of The Four Masters go on to record his death as follows:

The Age of Christ, 537. The tenth year of Tuathal. St. Lughaidh, Bishop of Connor, died.

The battle of Sligeachʷ by Fearghus and Donihnall, the two sons of Muircheartach mac Earca; by Ainmire, son of Sedna; and Ainnidh, son of Duach, against Eoghan Bel, King of Connaught. They routed the forces before them, and Eoghan Bel was slain, of which was said:

  • The battle of the Ui-Fiachrach was fought with fury of edged weapons against Bel,
  • The kine of the enemy roared with the javelins, the battle was spread out at Crinderˣ
  • The Sligeach bore to the great sea the blood of men with tlieir flesh,
  • They carried many trophies across Eabhaʸ, together with the head of Eoghan Bel.

Despite the difference of a decade between The Annals Of Clonmacnoise and the Annals Of The Four Masters, this nonetheless places the death of Eógan Bél well over a century after the time of Dau Galach and makes it improbable that Eógan Bél and Ailill Inbanda immediately succeeded him. However, both the Book of Leinster King List (see above) and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise (see below) have the following order: Eógan Bél, Ailill Inbanda, Dau Tenga Uma, Eochaid Tírimcárna, and Feradach mac Rossa.

483-15. Hillarius Pope dyed, to whom succeeded Simplicius Pope. The Cytty of Ravenna was quite Destroyed by an Earthquake. Dureing the raignes of the said Kings, that is to say the raign of King Leway mᶜLagery, K. Mortagh, K. Twahall Moylegarve, and K. Dermott there Raigned in Scotland five Kings who were Dawangart, Fergus (whom I should first name), Enos, Convallo, sonn of Dawangart, and Gawran his other sonn, Dureing which time there Raigned in Ulster 4 kings vidzᵗ Eochy mᶜConley, ffearga, Deman & Broydan mᶜCarill. In Mounster their Reigned 3 kings Eochy, Criowhan, & Scanlan; in Connaught alsoe there Rayned 5 kings vidzᵗ. Owen vell, Oillill fitz Owen vel, Dwagh Teangowa, Eochy Tyrncharna, and fearadagh mᶜRossa. Benignus² the Bishop dyed 468. Iserninus³ bishopp died 469. King Ollill Molt made the Great feast of Tarag, called feis taragh, the second Booty that the Saxons tooke from out of Ireland. Docus Bushopp of the Brittans dyed. Brandon⁴ Bushopp of Ardmagh dyed. Conell Criowhan mᶜNeale, auncestor of yᵉ o’Melaghlyns died. Earlahy⁵, third Bushop of Ardmagh, dyed.

However, when examining the entry for Ailill Inbanda in the Book of Leinster King List (see above), there are two lines that are illegible; but from the structure of the rest of the list, it appears that it is sequentially recording the death of two different Ailills. Further, it records Eógan Bél as Eógan Bél mac Duach! All of this taken together raises the possibility that a conflation occurred wherein there were two sets of an Ailill succeeding an Eógan and that one set was deleted. However, when doing so it left a hole in the chronology and so Ailill Molt was inserted anachronistically.

Further, it is proposed that the lengths of reign were very similar when written in the original, non-subtractive notation Roman numeric style: 37 (xxxuii) and 17 (xuii) in the case of the Eógans and 19 (xuiiii) and 9 (uiiii) in the case of the Ailills. This would also make it easy to conflate the two sets of names.

The lengths of reign selected might appear to be very arbitrary at first glance, but the King List in both the Book of Leinster and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise definitely show Eochaid Tírimcárna succeeding Dau Tenga Uma; which makes sense since Dau Tenga Uma was concerned enough about Eochaid Tírimcárna as a threat to have him imprisoned, and was subsequently slain because of that in 500 A.D. by his own son-in-law, Muirchertach mac Erca of the fanciful death quoted previously, as all the records show. The natural progression would then be for Eochaid Tírimcárna to succeed immediately. His length of reign is recorded as 20 years. Since we previously have the starting date of reign for Eochaid Tírimcárna as 501 A.D., then Eógan Bél’s starting date of reign is 521 A.D. and his earliest date of death is 537 A.D. From that, his length of reign would be 17 years; which matches nicely with the previously proposed length.

So who were the deleted Eógan and Ailill? The first one is answered by the pedigree given for Eógan Bél as mac Duach. This immediately points to the deleted Eógan as being Eógan Sréb mac Daui Galaig; and it was he who reigned for 37 years after immediately succeeding his father. This succession is supported by the Book Of Ballymote, which states:

891. Duach galach dano mc. Briain da mc. lais .i. Eogan sremh .i. rang beag bai na bhel & is uadh in rigraidh.

The record just quoted can be loosely translated as Dau Galach, also the son of Brión, had 2 sons belonging to him, that is, Eógan Sréb, that is, he of the lower hierarchical rank who replaced the one who had the normal claim to kingship and thereafter became of the kings. The word bhel has the possible meaning of “replaced in kingship, headship, etc. one who had the normal claim”, possibly of one who replaced the normal “tanist”, the “heir presumptive to a Gaelic clan”. So in one word, bhel is a type of “usurper”, or at least an unusual “replacement”. So Eógan the “striped/brindled” (sréb) could also be nicknamed Eógan the “usurper” (bhel). This would explain the conflation of Eógan Sréb of the Uí Briúin with Eógan Bél of the Uí Fiachrach. Hubert Thomas Knox in his book The History Of The County Of Mayo To The Close Of The Sixteenth Century supports the hypothesis that Eógan Sréb followed his father Dau Galach as King of Connacht:

The kingdom of Connaught seems to have been assumed by Eoghan Srebh in succession to Ailill. In any case Duach Tengumha was king at the close of the century. In 499 A.D. he was killed at the battle of Segais, the river Boyle, by Muirchertach Mac Erca of Ulster, and was succeeded by Eoghan Bel, son of Cellach, son of Ailill Molt, or, according to another account, son of Erc, son of Ailill Molt.

While Knox’s order of succession and identification of who actually reigned before and after Eógan Sréb is disputed in this paper, the fact that he was a King of Connacht is decidedly endorsed.

Ailill ua Fiachrach Foltsnathaig?

The choice for Ailill’s length of reign has been explained previously. However, who the deleted Ailill was is not so apparent and cannot be readily ascertained. While it is tempting to use the same logic and say that since the deleted Ailill in the guise of Ailill Inbanda is given the pedigree of the son of Eógan, then Ailill must be the son of Eógan Sréb. However, in this case there is no ready genealogy that has a son of Eógan Sréb named Ailill. Further, as will be explained in his entry, Ailill Inbanda’s own pedigree as the son of Eógan Bél is highly suspect.

Regardless, since most of the records indicate than an Ailill of the Uí Fiachrach reigned for ~20 years in this time frame, the “lost” Ailill ua Fiachrach Foltsnathaig, or more likely, someone in the next generation, has been placed here. It was this Uí Fiachrach Ailill who was conflated with Ailill Molt and Ailill Inbanda in the Book of Leinster King List (see above). It is probably his obituary that has been lost in the entry for Ailill Inbanda.

Dau Tenga Uma

The choice for Dau Tenga Uma’s end of reign was taken from the hard date of his death in 500 A.D., as stated previously. The year of his start of reign was derived from adding the length of reigns from the previous Kings of Connacht. His place in the list has also been discussed in detail previously.

It needs to be especially noted that the Book Of Leinster King List and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise make it quite clear that Dau Galach and Dau Tenga Uma are two separate individuals. The separation in time between them provided by the proposed King List certainly allows for the traditional genealogy of Dau Tenga Uma mac Fergusa meic Muiredaig Maíl meic Eógain Sréib meic Daui Galaig to be possible. It seems clear that claims of duplication between Dau Galach and Dau Tenga Uma by historians such as Francis J. Byrne in his Irish Kings And High-Kings are very much incorrect.

Eochaid Tírimcárna

Eochaid’s start of reign was taken from the hard date of Dau Tenga Uma’s death in 500 A.D. His place in the list has also been discussed in detail previously, while his length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 20 years (see above).

Eógan Bél

Eógan Bél’s place in the list as immediately succeeding Eochaid Tírimcárna seems the most likely place for insertion, ahead of Feradach mac Rossa. This was also done to align his death to 537 A.D. as recorded in the Annals Of The Four Masters, quoted previously. His length of reign has been discussed in detail previously.

It would seem that at this time a rift had occurred between the Uí Néill and the Uí Fiachrach, since Muirchertach mac Erca’s two sons Fergus and Domnall slew both Eógan Bél (see above) and Ailill Inbanda (see below), and the next two Uí Fiachrach Kings of Connacht had short reigns. Perhaps there was a shift in alliances when Muirchertach mac Erca married Duiseach, the daughter of Dau Tenga Uma. As was detailed previously, this woman incited her husband to kill her own father, who is credited as the progenitor for the Uí Briúin Seóla sept, in support of her foster-father, Eochaid Tírimcárna, who is credited as the progenitor of the Uí Briúin Aí sept. Certainly the rise in power of the Uí Briúin Aí, particularly the line that became the Síl Muiredaig, began in this time frame with the help of the Uí Néill, whether deliberate or not.

Ailill Inbanda

Ailill Inbanda’s place in the list as immediately succeeding his “father” Eógan Bél seems consistent in the records. His length of reign as 9 years is supported in the Book of Leinster King List (see above) and the The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach (see below). His death year of 546 A.D. is a little later than that of 544 A.D. given by the Annals Of The Four Masters, as shown in the subsequent quoted footnote, but not unduly so.

However, it must certainly be pointed out that Ailill Inbanda’s pedigree is indubitably questionable. The records in The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach are self-contradictory:

Oilioll Molt, the son of Dathi, had a son Ceallach, the father of Eoghan Beul, and of Oilioll Ionbhanda, two kings of Connaughtᵘ.

Eoghan Beul had two sons, namely, Ceallach, on whom the atrocious murder was committed, that is, his own four foster-brothers killed him treacherously at Ard an fhenneadha, at the instigation of Guaire Aidhne, son of Colman, through envy about the sovereignty; and Cuchongelt Mac Eoghain, the other son, was he who slew the foster-brothers of Ceallach in revenge for their fratricide; they were Maolcroin, Maolseanaigh, Maoldalua, and Mac (or Maol) deoraidh. Or, according to others, these were hanged at the river of Sal Srotha Dergᵛ, which is called the Muaidh, and it was from them the hill over the Muaidh was called Ard na rioghʷ; and Ard na Maolˣ is the name of the hill on the other side of the stream, where they were interred.

or:

Oilioll Ianbhannaᵃ, or Anbhanna, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan Beul, son of Ceallach, son of Oilioll Molt, nine years, when he fell by Aodh, son of Eochaidh Tiormcharna, of the race of Brian, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin.

  • Oilioll Ionbhanna — According to the Annals Of The Four Masters he was slain in the battle of Cuil Conaire, in the territory of Ceara, in the year 544, by Fergus and Domhnall, the two sons of Muircheartach Mac Earca. Their words are: — “A. D. 544. The battle of Cuil Conaire, in Ceara, was fought by Fergus and Domhnall, the two sons of Muircheartach Mac Earca, against Ailill Inbanda, King of Connaught, and Aodh Fortamhail, in which Ailill and Aodh were slain.”

So Ailill Inbanda is variously the son, in the Book Of Leinster King List (see above), or the brother or grandson of Eógan Bél in The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, as just quoted. This is further confused by the fact that Eógan Bél is only attributed with two sons: Ceallach and Cuchongelt; or is it Ceallach and Muireadhach? Nowhere does Cuchongelt appear to be explicitly equated to Muireadhach. This makes it highly questionable that Ailill Inbanda was either a son or grandson of Eógan Bél. That leaves him as Eógan Bél’s brother as The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach does state at one point; but this is by no means a definitive statement of their exact relationship.

Then, both Ailill Inbanda and Eógan Bél are claimed to be descendants of Ailill Molt. But as was stated previously, that claim has been rejected. So again, what is left is that perhaps there was a son or grandson of Feradach mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig named Ailill who was conflated with Ailill Molt, just as Feradach mac Fiachrach Foltsnathaig was conflated with Dau Galach and Nath Í ua Néill. All of this leaves the antecedents of Ailill Inbanda very murky so that the only conclusion that can be drawn is that he was a reasonably close relative of Eógan Bél; but the exact nature of their relationship is unclear, as are their specific pedigrees, beyond being Uí Fiachrach.

Finally, it should be especially noted that Ailill Inbanda is either slain by Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach, or by Fergus and Domnall, the two sons of Muirchertach mac Erca. These accounts of two different deaths can be reconciled by assuming that all the parties mentioned were involved; which does lead once again to the strong conjecture that there was now an alliance of the Uí Néill and the Uí Briúin Aí against the Uí Fiachrach.

Feradach mac Rossa

Feradach’s place in the proposed King List as succeeding Ailill Inbanda instead of Eochaid Tírimcárna is because he is always given last in the various King Lists shown previously. His length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 3 years (see above). His inclusion here also follows the pattern of having an unbroken succession of Uí Fiachrach Kings of Connacht, even if with short reigns, until the Uí Briúin Aí resume power. These short reigns may indicate a determined effort to oust the Uí Fiachrach as Kings of Connacht.

It is interesting to note that neither Feradach mac Rossa nor Máel Fothaid mac Maíl Umach are included in the The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach King List, although they are included elsewhere.

Máel Fothaid mac Maíl Umach

Máel Fothaid’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 3 years (see above). There does not appear to be much known about this individual.

Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach

Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 22 years (see above). His death year of 574 A.D. aligns with what is recorded in the Annals Of The Four Masters:

The Age of Christ, 574. The seventh year of Aedh [, son of Ainmire]. The killing of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna⁹, by the Ui-Briuin.

It should be especially noted that Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach was killed by his own kin, the Uí Briúin. It is not specified as to which sept of the Uí Briúin was responsible, but given that he was of the Uí Briúin Aí sept, it is an easy assumption to make that he was killed by one or both of the Uí Briúin Bréifne and Seóla septs, perhaps because they saw the Uí Briúin Aí as growing too poweful.

Uadach mac Áeda

Uadach apparently succeeded his father Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach. Uadach’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 28 years (see above). His succession to his father as King of Connacht, together with both of their long reigns, gives ample testimony to the power of the Uí Briúin Aí by this time.

Colmán mac Cobthaig

Colmán’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 25 years (see above). But The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach gives the length of his reign as 21 years:

Colman, son of Cobhthachᵇ, son of Goibhnenn, son of Conall, son of Eoghan, son of Eochaidh Breac, son of Dathi, was twenty-one years in the government of Connaught, when he fell in the battle of Ceann Bughaᶜ, by Raghallach, son of Uadach, son of Aodh.

Using a length of reign of 21 years puts his death in the year 623 A.D., which does not align closely with the year 617 A.D. given by the Annals Of The Four Masters:

The Age of Christ, 617. The seventh year of Suibhne. St. Caemhghinʰ, Abbot of Gleann-da-lochaⁱ, died on the 3rd of June, after having spent one hundred and twenty years of his age till then. Comhgall, a bishop, and Eoghan, Bishop of Rath-Sitheᵏ, died. The battle of Ceann-Delgteanˡ by Conall, son of Suibhne, and Domhnall Breac, wherein were slain the two sons of Libren, son of Illann, son of Cearbhall. Maelbrachaᵐ, son of Rimeadh, son of Colman, son of Cobhthach, and Ailill, son of Ceallach, died.

The battle of Ceann-Gubhaⁿ (or Ceann-Bughbha) [was gained] by Raghallach, son of Uadach, over Colman, son of Cobhthach (the father of Guaire Aidhne), where Colman himself was slain. Colgaᵒ, son of Ceallach, died. Ailillᵖ, son of Ceallach, died.

  • Ceann-Guhha, or Ceann-Bughbha — This place is now called Ceann-Bogha, anglicè Cambo, and is situated a short distance to the north of the town of Roscommon, in the county of Roscommon. — See The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, p. 313, note ᶜ. In the Annals of Ulster, “Bellum Cenn Buigi, in quo cecidit Colman mac Cobtaig,” is entered under the year A. D. 621.

However, the date of 623 A.D. does align much more closely with the year 621 A.D. given in the Annals of Ulster, as just shown. Interestingly, this two year difference is the same as that for Ailill Inbanda, but there appears no one place that can be readily ascribed for the difference.

Finally, it should be especially noted that the Uí Briúin Aí, in the person of Rogellach mac Uadaig, were obviously attempting to reassert their power again by killing Colmán mac Cobthaig, as Rogellach succeeded Colmán and reigned for 25 years, according to the Book Of Leinster King List (see above).